The Drill of a Lifetime

      Ready to Report

I went on a bit of an adventure last Thursday.

Knowing a lot of folks up in Bothell, including at City Hall, I was invited to be a ‘persistent reporter’ for a simulated emergency drill. Not just the city would take part, but also folks from the UW-Bothell and Cascadia College, to prepare for a “what if” scenario to see how well they would all work together.

We were supposed to meet and talk about the exercise, what they’d like me to do, read over questions to ask the crisis center and city leaders at the mock press conference, enjoy a little lunch, etc.

When I arrived at exactly noon, Bothell City Hall was packed. City workers buzzed around in their orange vests, there were police officers, even people who appeared to be part of a jury, wearing name tags like, “Juror #1.”  It was impressive and gave you the feeling that something wrong was really going on. I asked for my contact and quickly found myself in an elevator heading up with all 12 jurors.  I couldn’t resist saying to one of them, “You know he’s guilty.” Another juror gave me the International sign for, “Shush!”

Finding my contact, we then returned back down to the main floor and headed into a room where we were informed that the drill would have to wait, maybe even be post-poned. The reason? An actual bomb threat had been made at the Bothell Courthouse not even a block away.

So, some of the police and fire folks who were supposed to be part of the drill had some real-life drama to deal with. That also meant that the juror I told “he was guilty” was actually real. Oops.

90 minutes later, the bomb squad checked out the suspicious device, it turned out to be nothing and the drill commenced. It was interesting to play a part in the drill (I was Harley from KOMO TV)  and watch the teamwork that was born from this exercise that you hope you never have to do in real life. But you have to be ready.

It also gave me an idea for a screenplay that I will never have time to write, but if you take it on, I want partial screen credit.  So, someone is terrorizing the city. A while into this terror, a police officer says this all seems so familiar and looks for similar sprees in the past, but comes up empty. Then, he remembers that this is going the exact same way as a city drill held several years before. It turns out that the culprit is an angry ex-city employee who felt his opinion was ignored and wants to prove the city wrong. Of course, knowing what his next step will be allows the policeman to foil the plan and the bad guy gets captured.

It could have been just another day but it ended up being quite the adventurous Thursday. Because it was on the edge of over-achieving, I think I’m going to take it real easy this week on Thursday. Maybe I’ll go for a walk. Or, visit that guy up in Bothell if they really did find him guilty.

Oops.

Tim Hunter

 

The Second One

I’m sure there will come a time when I don’t know how many Father’s Days its been since my dad left this earth. But with this being only the second one where I wasn’t conspiring with my sisters on what he would like or picking out a goofy card to send to him, (which usually arrived late) I’m still counting them.

Not a day goes by that I don’t wake up to his smiling face by my keyboard as I begin my daily writing duties. And I’ve made it a habit to be a positive reflection, rather than a mournful feeling of loss. I got lucky. Not only because of the man and everything he taught me by example, but also for how long he stuck around. He was the last of his siblings to go when he died just three weeks shy of his 92nd birthday.

I remember at his wake how a childhood friend reminded me just how lucky I was. His dad had already been gone for 20+ years.

I can easily hop into the memory jalopy and flash back to those camping trips, the Little League games, going to church in our Sunday best, playing basketball with him in the driveway, hearing about the guys “at the field”, which was mechanic-talk for the gang he worked with at United Airlines. It seemed like he would always be there, but eventually, the years took a toll on his body.

I’m one of those people who have fully embraced the Amazon Echo (named Alexa) and it’s partially due to my dad. Towards the end of his life, his hearing was failing and if he didn’t understand you, instead of saying, “What?” he would just say, “OK.”  That became his default go-to expression.

Now, when I ask our Alexa to turn the living room light on, the lamp clicks on and she says, “OK.”  Time to turn it off, and after the instruction she replies, “OK.”

That’s fine, but just remember Alexa, that was Dad’s word first.

If your dad is still around, I’ll echo the words of Kelly Toman who reminded me just how lucky you are. You know what to do from here.

Happy Father’s Day Weekend!

Tim Hunter

Facebook 101

I’ve become quite an expert when it comes to Facebook. For quite a few years. How many? I can’t figure out how to tell.

OK, almost an expert.

Experience has taught me a lot of things about this social media platform, so I thought I’d just put them all down into a handy collection for people to review occasionally and check to see if they’re doing it right.  There are some definite do’s and don’ts:

  • The Games  Seriously, I think it’s wonderful that you have enough spare time to play the slot machines or another version of Candy Crush on Facebook but I’m begging you, PLEASE don’t invite me to play. At first, I figured we must not know each other very well. But the invites just kept coming. I have since developed a “three strikes and you’re out” rule, just in case you’re wondering how you thought we were connected and now, are no longer.
  • Political Posts  You wouldn’t think this is necessary, but a request–give thought to what you’re going to put up on Facebook.  I don’t know about you, but I go there to keep up with friends, share a laugh, update the family, etc.  It amazes me that people think if they put up something that supports their political agenda that people opposed to it are going to want to see it? You don’t care?  I’ve gotten that impression. So, another three strikes rule went into effect. First, I click that little triangle in the upper right corner of your post and it gives me the option of “Hiding all posts from _________.”  You posted something from AngryWhackJobs.com?  I click on that triangle and it allows me to hide all future posts from that website. See?  Isn’t that easy? So, if you thought I was checking my Facebook to find the latest instructions from you on how to think, you’re actually just posting that for yourself.  Tell you what, if you take all that time you’re wasting on posting things people don’t actually read and put that towards your cause, you just might create some change.
  • Personal Information The phrase TMI was created for a reason. Look, I care about you and your well-being and if you have a health issue, concern or want to request a prayer, bring it on. Send me a PERSONAL note. One-on-one. Do you really think that everyone wants to see pictures of your toe fungus or that new scar?  Think of Facebook like being on a train with a friend. There’s an easel where you can post pictures. That friend may care about it or at least, pretend to…but all the others? Take a guess.
  • Blindly Reposting Things Somewhere along the line, people adopted the belief that, “Well, if it’s on Facebook, it must be true!”  Rather than trying to set the world speed record for reposting something from the first second you read it, do a little vetting. Yes, the war continues on “fake news”, but I see it daily. And depending on the day, if I see a friend fall into that trap, I’ll carve out five minutes to find the site that disproves it and then forward that information along to the person who posted it. It happens at least once a week. I’m not right or left, I’m in the middle and proudly like to think for myself. That’s why facts are so important to me, and political slant ticks me off. Sadly, politics today is basically cranking out negative stuff about the other side to the faithful, so that they know you’re going to buy into it and keep perpetuating it. And that’s too bad.

The key thought here: think before you post. There is a wealth of negative things out there right now. Why bring them to Facebook? Positive feeds on positive. I think you can figure out what negative feeds on.

For all of this country’s faults, for all the problems going on in the world, for everything not going your way if you were the global ruler, we’re all doing pretty well. Appreciate it.

And if you don’t, why drag it out into the social media arena for all to see?  Well, that is, until you become my next un-follow.

Tim Hunter

Comedy Is Tough

Being funny has never been easy.

I’m not talking about me, but in general. We all love to laugh, but what cracks us up is as different as our individual lives. That’s why, over the years, I’ve paid attention and taken mental notes about what’s funny and what makes people laugh. Heck, I even put together a pamphlet (hardly a book) about how to write funny jokes that’s available for your Kindle on Amazon.

To save you the free download (and seriously, I can’t even remember when I wrote that) it’s based on the two golden rules of comedy–know your audience and go for the common experiences. I’ve spent my career going for the quick kill. Do a brief setup and while people are nodding their heads in agreement, you zing ’em with the punchline.

If you’re standing up there on the stage and setting up a joke by saying, “You know how you go the leper colony because they’ve got a great cigar bar in the back,” you’ve already lost the people who have never been to a leper colony, or don’t care that they have a cigar bar. If you go for the quicker, “President Trump met with the Pope today,” with those seven words, you’ve created a picture in the audiences’ mind of Trump, the Pontiff and the stereotypes that come with each of them. Where I went with it was “Their conversation began with one saying, “So what’s with that big thing on your head?” and the other replying, “Back at ya!”

Donald’s hair, the Pope’s hat, ha-ha, let’s all go home.

This week, Kathy Griffin (who I’ve always felt was a needy comic) thought it would be hilarious to do a photo shoot that included her holding onto a bloody Donald Trump head.  For the science of comedy, I would have loved to have been in that meeting where that concept turned into “a funny idea.”

You thought the leper colony set up didn’t work?  If your audience was the U.S., then you’re already heading down the path where 50% of the people who see the photo not only won’t think it’s funny, it would be viewed as offensive. Now, do you really want to instantly piss off half of your audience, some of whom might even have liked you as a comic until now? Next, let’s whittle down the prospective hysterical laughter even further by reducing it to just the part of the audience that thinks ISIS beheadings are funnier than Benny Hill. In a world where innocent kids are blown up at a pop concert, where reporters have their heads cut off live on the Internet, regardless of how you feel about the president (who, is still the president, by the way), holding a bloody Trump head is shocking, disturbing, and a lot of things, but not funny.

Remember that pursuit of shared experiences? OK, so if you think a bloody Trump head is funny, then we should probably do it with a Hillary head, too, right?  I mean, that’s a funny gag!  And while we’re at it, let’s grab the heads of two more former presidents, bloody them up and have an upside-down Mount Rushmore!

Can you imagine the outrage if someone had done this with an Obama head?  We’d be hearing how wrong it was and that it could only have come from the mind of someone who is a right-wing, white supremacist racist scumbag.

So, to summarize:

Kathy has now entered the Gilbert Gottfried zone, where one day, she might get to open for Michael Richards in a comedy club that offers a Groupon for two drinks and some laughs for $17.

I know that comedians who constantly reach for that edge have to keep stretching for the outer limits, but someone with Kathy’s experience should have seen at least a small warning light going off.  The same is true for Gilbert and Richards. Jokes about Tsunami victims days after the tragedy or thinking the N-word is funny when spoken by a white guy defies logic. I don’t get it, nor do I want to.

Oh, I’ve had my dark humor moments. I’ve thought of some pretty sick stuff over the years. It’s part of the spectrum. But then you go back to the “know your audience” part of the comedy formula and  make sure those jokes never see the light of day.

Even if you share Ms. Griffin’s contempt for the president, do you really want to live in a society where something like the above photo is considered mainstream funny?

Freedom of speech? Absolutely. Knock yourself out. Want to be a comedian?  Try being funny.

Tim Hunter

 

 

A Wine Wonderland

This past Sunday, we ended up having an incredibly good time as my two step-kids decided to treat their mom to a Mother’s Day adventure. Of course, I tagged along. We first went to the new Revolve restaurant in Bothell, made a quick trip to Country Village and then headed off to Woodinville Wine Country.

As has happened every time I go wine tasting there, I ask myself–why don’t we do this more often???

For readers outside the area, Woodinville is a suburb around a 25-minute drive northeast of Seattle. There’s a city surrounded by neighborhoods, but there’s also acreage where the Washington State Wine industry thankfully decided to invade and set up shop.  As of this writing (and it seems like the number changes a lot) there are over 130 wineries with tasting rooms in and around Woodinville.

The way it works—you pay $10 to sample some of their wines, spend $XX on wine and you can use that $10 towards your purchase. Or, should you decide to join their wine club, there’s usually no fee, but you are expected to buy several bottles twice a year or quarterly. Another benefit, as a wine club member, you get to go in and enjoy free tastings whenever you like and you get invited to special member-only events. Plus, when you buy wine as a member, you get a membership discount.

A couple of examples of that membership bennie thing–

I went to one winery on a Tuesday to pick up our club wine. Of course, while there, I did a tasting. One particularly tickled my palate, so I bought a bottle.  I got the special Tuesday discount they were offering PLUS my membership discount, so I saved 25%. Score!

During that Mother’s Day tour, we visited one of the more upscale wineries and our tasting including the big finale` of a Cabernet that clocked in at $180 a bottle. With one of us belonging to their wine club, the tasting was free. And, after we had tasted our allotment, the wine server asked if we wanted any repeat tastes. We all went for that expensive Cab again.

I tell ya, it ruins you. But it a wonderful way.

We’ve joined a total of four wine clubs in the area: Efeste, Dusted Valley, Refuge & Prospect and Martedi. Each has it’s own unique style and all are doing amazing things when it comes to wine. Plus, there are some great stories to be heard while tasting. The family operation handed down, the fun names they’ve come up for their varieties, the winemaker who went through a divorce and took every penny left to go for his dream.  But there are literally over 100 others that are also produce amazing wines, with stories to match. Washington is now the number 2 wine producing state in our country and we can all be very proud of the quality being produced.

There are wine tours where you climb on a bus, or you could Uber or Lyft your way around. If you’re driving, force yourself to taste and maybe not finish every pour to the bottom of the glass and limit yourself to three wineries at most.

I joked online when I posted a picture of our group on Mother’s Day with the comment, “So glad no one else thought of going wine-tasting with mom.” The truth was, it was packed.  We are very lucky to have such a great attraction so close to home. If you even remotely enjoy wine tasting, Woodinville is calling.

Tim Hunter

One Special Person

It’s weird how life works out.

In the 1970s, I was roaming the University of Washington at the same time as a girl from Ballard. But we were on different paths. We each headed off into the world to experience all kinds of adventures, in completely different directions.

Upon graduation, I went east of the mountains for that first radio job, ended up getting married, moving back to this side of the state and raising a family.

Victoria graduated from the U and stuck around town, having a family as well. It wasn’t long until she found herself a single mom and life was far from easy.

No need to go into details on either side, but it took an incredible timing pattern for us to be in the spaces we were in when we were introduced ten years ago.  Yes, it was on a second attempt for a blind date that this woman came flying into the Mill Creek Boston’s pizza after a hectic drive from Ballard. I can replay that scene in my brain any time I want. I felt a click, but proceeded with caution.

There are so many ways we could have never met.  I had an uncle who told me to look him up after I graduated from college and he’d do what he could to get me a radio job back east.  Victoria went to school in Norway for a year, fell in love with it, and didn’t really want to come back. It was at her family’s insistence.

I really don’t know how I was lucky enough to find someone as kind, pretty and caring as Victoria Arlene Templin Sangrey Hunter.  Any more names and we’d need two t-shirts, but I digress. Not a day goes by that I don’t look at her and feel grateful for how this whole crazy ride of life worked out.

It’s her birthday this week. Victoria-fest, as I call it. The years are passing by too quickly, which is why I continue to be on a mission to make every moment of every day count. It’s so easy to push through life and suddenly look back on a big old blur. We’re here now. I’m here with her and am truly grateful to have found her.

That’s enough gushing for now. Happy birthday, Victoria. I love you as much as humanly possible! Stay exactly the way you are.

Tim Hunter

Ode To George

Taking a break from mowing the lawn long enough to get a picture with George

 

There once was a dog named George.

My sisters or mom may remember better than me how we ended up giving George his name. Somehow in my single-digit years, mom and dad decided that three kids didn’t make a family chaotic enough and that it was time to have a family dog. So we adopted a mutt that was a lot of things, but mostly German Shepherd.  He was black with a light belly, white paws and some brown thrown in. He looked like a dog made by a committee.

I would guess I was 8 or 9 when George arrived.  I don’t remember a lot about him, but I recall he was full of energy. George developed a funny habit of running towards the back gate on the side of our house, which allowed him to jump high and peek over the fence. He would do two or three of those jumps in a row if he heard one of us out front.

His abundant energy was too much for our modest yard, so we would occasionally take him over to some nearby vacant fields to run him. Yeah, it was that long ago. There were vacant fields in Torrance.  It’s now a housing development. We would drive the car out on the dirt road towards the middle of the field and George would just go nuts. Toss a tennis ball and he couldn’t wait to go get it and bring it back.

As happens with pets and kids, the newness wears off and soon, it became my duty to bury the piles in the backyard. I remember him turning into more of a chore and the fun of having a dog started to fade away. Plus, I had the kids in the neighborhood to hang out with.

One day, while George roamed the backyard looking for something to do, he started sniffing around the bushes. He found a new smell and decided to see how it tasted. Sadly, it was snail poison. We had always put it out in the yard, the snails were something fierce. But apparently, this time, George decided to chow down. 

And George was gone.

I remember hearing the news and running back to that gate  he once jumped on so he could see the outside world. He rested on top of the garbage cans, wrapped in a blanket and would remain there until the Humane Society folks came by to take him away. I remember hugging him and bawling my eyes out, regretting every moment that I should have been playing with him, wishing to have back every second I resented him.

In those fifty-plus years since my time with George, two other dogs passed through my life.  Neither compared to the childhood friend that I enjoyed for only a couple of years, but who has stayed with me ever since. George was a tough act to follow. 

The least I could do is write down his story.

Tim Hunter

 

 

THE STORIES BURIED DEEP

archaeologyI’m a fan of history, especially my own.

And while the human mind can remember a lot of things, anyone who’s been around for a while knows, after a while, the old hard-drive gets full.  You can only remember so many things and with today’s information-overload society, I’m afraid a lot of those stories from years gone by are slowly being squeezed out.

 Or, they never made it here in the first place.

During this week’s visit to mom and my sister Debbie down in the hometown of Torrance, California, I picked up quite a few lost stories that were either squeezed out or simply forgotten. Some were never even heard, so I’m choosing to write them down so that either you or me can pull these out when we’re sitting around in the old folks home, wondering why we’re there.

I knew I was born in Gardena, a neighboring city to Torrance, but the story I had always heard was because Torrance didn’t have a hospital of its own. It turns out they DID have a hospital, but the night the water broke and delivery became a matter of time, MY PARENTS COULDN’T FIND THE TORRANCE HOSPITAL!  So they went to the closest one, which was a hop, skip and a jump over in Gardena. I heard this story as we stopped by the site where the elusive hospital once stood.

Hospital Where I Wasn't Born

                The Hospital Where I Wasn’t Born

I ended up having a 30+-year radio career and of all the paths I could have chosen, radio called me. (and I was caller #9)  I found out during this trip down that my mom was also a fan of radio, as she pulled out her official membership certificate she received when she was 11-years-old.  A charter member, no less.

moms-radio-station-membership

During one of the many Happy Hours that break out when we get together, my sister Debbie blurted out some stories one night that I may have heard before, but had forgotten. For example, at her high school graduation from Torrance High School, right after they announced her name, I yelled out at the top of my lungs, “Thank God!”

Then there was  the time that my buddy Tank and I picked up Debbie at the airport in Seattle. (back when you could greet people at the gate)  The moment we saw her, Tank yelled out, “That’s her, officer!  The one with the backpack!” 

Call it frugal, call it cheap, but I was reminded of another tradition of growing up Hunter.  These days, every kid has their own cell phone. But “back in my day”, they had these things called ‘phone booths.’  Each of us busy kids were given a dime.  Say, for example, if my basketball practice ended at 4:30, when I was ready to be picked up, I used a dime to operate a pay phone. I would call the home number, let it ring once, then hang up!  My parents recognized the Hunter code to go pick up a kid, because hanging up without the phone being answered gave me the dime back and I would be ready for the next time.

Dig around your family history and you’ll probably uncover some “almost never was” stories. For example, I can’t imagine being raised in any other home than the one in the middle of the street where my mom has continued to live for 64 years. But apparently, the only house that was available in that development was the one down the street on the end of the block, next to a very busy Hawthorne Blvd.  However, the sale fell through on the eventual Hunter residence and the rest is history. 

Just a few shares about my family story, if nothing else, so that I can look at this blog in the future and remember some of those mini-details that successfully escaped my mind.

I’d like to encourage you to do some digging of your own, to see what nuggets you can uncover.

Tim Hunter 

PS–I also found out that even though Torrance is a fairly large city, with a population of 150,000 people, there are no cemeteries within the city limits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stan the Scan Man–Part 2

 

boreson-nomo-tallulah-04

It’s funny how closely connected we really are, especially if you’ve been in the Seattle area for a while.

I’m a newbie, having just been here since 1973 with only a few years off in Yakima for bad behavior. Again, once you’ve put in a few years and you start talking with the people you’ve met, you’ll find some link between you and just about anybody.

Last night, I was at the Opus 111 Group client appreciation event held at the Ruth’s Chris in downtown Seattle. Working the welcome desk was Donna Driver, who works part-time and fill-in for Opus. She’s also the sister of Opus’ annuity expert, Bill Driver.

Donna and I originally found out we had a connection a couple of years ago when she brought in her school photo book and showed me a picture of her back in 6th grade along with her teacher, Ernie Templin. Yes, my father-in-law. It turns out that she is also married to a Norwegian and we have often bumped into her at the various Nordic events around town.

But the topic last night was the passing of Stan Boreson. Donna is a Seattle lifer and grew up with TV heroes like Brakeman Bill, Captain Puget, JP & Gertrude and, of course, KING’S Klubhouse with Stan Boreson. But since she doesn’t have a blog or a Facebook account, she emailed a story that she wanted to share with me. It seemed the perfect follow-up to my previous blog about Stan.

Every kid who lived in Seattle in the ’50s has a Stan story.  Mine dates to 1958 when I was inspired by him to take accordion lessons.  It just so happens that we lived at 75th and Mary NW, and Stan and the Daquila family had an accordion studio at 75th and 15th NW.  The deal they had was that if you signed up for lessons, Stan would come to your house and bring your accordion and give you your first lesson.  Be still my heart!  I could hardly contain myself when he arrived – with the dogs!  I became an avid accordionist taking lessons from one of the teachers at the studio (her name was Donna, too).I got ready for a full size model for which my parents paid $250 (that’s 1958 dollars.)  Stan brought the new accordion to my house and gave me my first lesson on it – did I mention he brought the dogs?  Boy, did I love that accordion.  In fact I played it for a good six months after my parents shelled out the cash before I got tired of practicing.  That ended my career as a Lawrence Welk hopeful, but I did learn to read music and I like to think Stan launched my career.  I still have the accordion and drag it out every once in a while.  I should probably buy Book II and see if I can work my way through.

A funny thing happened at Opus yesterday.  I went into Bill’s office and said how sad I was the Stan had passed on.  I said, “Do you remember when he came to our house?”  And Bill piped in, “And he brought the dogs!”

A whole generation delighted in the King’s Clubhouse and the good clean fun we had.  We can ALL sing the song!  Thanks, Stan!

Thank you, Donna for sharing!

I know that right now, Stan is getting the answer to the age-old question: do they allow accordions in heaven? Since I’m pretty sure God enjoys a good laugh, I’ll be Stan has received a really nice one.

Tim Hunter

The Year in Preview

busy-calendar

Not that busy. But close

The last of the Christmas decorations have been packed away and even the Seahawks pennants and memorabilia that decorate our family room have been put back into our Hawks Box. That’s my cue that it’s time to head into a New Year. Another 12-month cycle of events that make up my annual routine. All things I enjoy doing and that I plan on doing for as long as people will have me. I know all too soon there will come a time when it will be time to pass along the torch to someone younger so that these traditions can continue.

Oh, new events and adventures always present themselves, but every January as I stare into the face of a New Year, I can count on these events being a part of the months ahead:

JANUARY–A pretty calm month. It’s my mother-in-law’s birthday month, so there are events around that, but in a good year, the first month of the year is spent seeing how dry the Christmas tree can get before we take it down and how far the Seahawks will go.

FEBRUARY–My first auction of the year with the gang at Our Redeemer’s Lutheran in Ballard.

MARCH–More auctions. This month, my biggest one up at the Xfinity Center in Everett for the Everett Rowing Club. The following night, I’m auctioning things off at the Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle’s annual Fishcake & Meatball dinner. Yes, Ma, I finally made it. Oh and March Madness.

APRIL–Outside of Easter on the 16th, a pretty calm month.

MAY–Could there possibly be anything more in this month? (apparently making up for April) Opening Day of Boating Season, Six family birthdays (including my wife), Mother’s Day, PLUS Syttende Mai (Norway’s Constitution Day) which means a day-long celebration in Ballard and yours truly back as the voice of the parade for my 5th year.

JUNE–As month’s go, another fairly calm one, although this year will also include the Nordic Heritage Museum auction (I’m sorry–Auktion) and then, the third weekend in June signals the beginning of summer and usually means a cabin weekend up at Lake McMurray to celebrate Midsummer with a giant bonfire.

JULY–The 4th of July means you’ll see me in downtown Bothell doing the play-by-play for their annual Freedom Festival Parades–a kiddie version, followed by the Grand Parade.  Then, there’s Seafoodfest in Ballard, which means I’ll take the stage and emcee another Lutefisk Eating contest. I believe I’ve done 9 of them, just in case anyone’s keeping track.

AUGUST–One of the events I love to attend is “Raise the Woof”, when you can hang with the Husky Football team the week before their first game.

SEPTEMBER–The beginning of college and pro football and the Fishermen’s Fall Festival down in Ballard, where I’ll be emceeing another Lutefisk Eating Contest.

OCTOBER–I’m honored to be invited as one of the judges for the annual Bothell Chilifest

NOVEMBER–Really, what more can I saw but Apple Cup. The college season is fun, but this is what it’s all about and this year, it’s in Seattle. Oh, and Thanksgiving. This is also the month I get going on the annual Christmas CD and put together a Christmas music video. I actually filmed and recorded this year’s version back in December of last year.  Oh, and I co-auctioneer with buddy Dale Amundsen at the annual Greater Bothell Chamber auction.

DECEMBER–This month begins with a whirlwind 3-event weekend:

  • The Norwegian American Chamber of Commerce Julebord. A former Norwegian luncheon that I host every year at the Seattle Golf Club. I believe I’ve got five years under my belt now and it is one fun event.
  • The following day, I spend an hour roaming the grounds at the Country Village Shopping Center as their town crier and officially welcome Santa Claus to town. That’s been a tradition for 13+ years.
  • The Norwegian Ladies Chorus Holiday Concert is always that first Sunday in December and so that helps round out the weekend.

The second Thursday of December is “Fishermen’s Night”, a seafood-drenched night of drinking and comradery at the Leif Erikson Lodge in Ballard. A sell-out every year.

The night before Christmas Eve is a Norwegian gathering called Lille Juloften. (Lilly-YOOL-often) Basically a night of partying to warm up for the Christmas marathon. They drink Gløgg. I don’t.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are naturally drowning in family events.

Then, several days later, on the 29th, it’s my wedding anniversary. This year is the big 1-0!

Of course, there are meetings for Norwegian Commercial Club, the Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce, the Northshore School District General Advisory Committe and a couple of other groups I’m involved with. Toss in things like a son’s wedding and a couple of trips to California and that pretty much packs out the year.

If I owe you money, now you know where to find me. I hope our paths cross as much as possible in the coming year and for many years to come.

Make it a happy one!

Tim Hunter